Archive for the ‘What Works’ Category

After action reviews

February 19, 2020

The COPS Office has a new publication, How to Conduct an After Action Review, produced in cooperation with the National Police Foundation, available here. An AAR “is conducted following a critical incident to allow teams to reflect on what happened, what did or did not work in the response and why, and how to improve weaknesses while sustaining and building on strengths.” The publication includes an analysis of 20 recent AARs and a step-by-step guide for agencies to follow.

Targeted, calibrated traffic enforcement

February 1, 2020

This article describes the Charleston, South Carolina PD’s revamped approach to traffic enforcement following the results of a 2018 racial bias audit. The agency is more carefully targeting traffic-related hot spots with both enforcement and public education, based on data with close monitoring by supervisors, while de-emphasizing just stopping cars and writing tickets as a blanket strategy. The approach now is more specific and intentional — “traffic stops are to correct traffic behaviors. It really comes down to that — correcting distracted drivers, speeding, the overall goal of preserving life,” according to one commander.

District-level RTCCs in Chicago

December 7, 2019

This new RAND report assesses the implementation and impact of district-level Real-Time Crime Centers (also called Strategic Decision Support Centers) in Chicago. The study found modest effects on serious crime and concluded that the Centers are “a promising model for improving law enforcement agencies’ awareness of their communities, improving their decision making, and carrying out more effective and more efficient operations that lead to crime reductions and other policing benefits.” It was noted that the initial emphasis has mainly been on support for reactive patrol responses, leading to a recommendation “to expand and formalize SDSC support for crime investigations. There is also a need to expand the districts’ responses to crime issues, including by gaining trust with residents and having positive community interactions with them to get information to reduce or solve crimes.”

2019 POP winner — Durham UK

November 25, 2019

UK’s Durham Constabulary won the 2019 Herman Goldstein Award at the recent Problem-Oriented Policing Conference in Santa Cruz, California for its Checkpoint deferred prosecution initiative. Low-level adult offenders are offered a 4-month tailor-made program aimed at “underlying issues such as their mental health, alcohol and drug misuse.” A rigorous evaluation found only a 5.6% re-offending rate during the 4-month contract and a 27% lower 2-year re-offending rate compared to traditional out-of-court measures.

Community policing in Chicago

November 23, 2019

This article provides a nice review of the ups and downs of community policing in Chicago over the last two decades, including promising early results from renewed efforts now underway. With the police superintendent retiring, it will be interesting to see if a new leader follows the current path or a different one.

Evolving police strategies

November 18, 2019

This 12-minute public radio segment reviews the re-invention of foot patrol, growing recognition that crime is concentrated in hot spots, and the current development of evidence-based policing, highlighting the significance of studies done in Kansas City, Newark, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia. “The tension between prevention and response is the fundamental issue,” according to Larry Sherman, adding “I think on a scale of 1 to 10, evidence-based policing in the U.S., in terms of practice, is about a 2.”

Tributes to George Kelling

July 5, 2019

Three new 4-minute audio clips available on BJA’s Executive Session on Police Leadership site — a tribute by Darrel Stephens (chief, PERF director, MCCA director), who was a young patrol officer in Kansas City when he met Kelling in 1972 as part of the preventive patrol experiment; a remembrance by Steve Edwards (BJA, NIJ, COPS), who worked for George at the Police Foundation and at Harvard; and Kelling himself on 5 suggestions for police leaders.

George Kelling passes away

May 16, 2019

Noted author and researcher George Kelling has passed away at age 83, as reported here. Born in Milwaukee, son of a firefighter, a social worker by training, he led pioneering studies of motorized patrol and foot patrol for the Police Foundation starting in the early 1970s and then authored the influential “broken windows” thesis in the 1980s with James Q. Wilson. He had an enormous impact on police thinking, police strategies, and multiple generations of police leaders. His work was an early example of evidence-based policing and his studies and writing were very influential in the development of community policing.

Reducing crime podcasts

May 12, 2019

The first 10 installments in an entertaining series of 20-40 minute podcasts focused on crime and crime reduction are available here. Each podcast is hosted by Professor Jerry Ratcliffe, formerly a police officer in the UK, and features an expert police practitioner or policing researcher.

EBP in New Zealand

April 29, 2019

This article profiles the work of the Evidence-Based Policing team in the New Zealand Police. The unit is staffed with researchers, data scientists, and design experts and has university and private sector partners. The plan is to conduct short- and long-term field experiments in order to develop key information related to police effectiveness, since “We are sending people out into our communities every day. We need confidence the work they are doing actually works.”